One of the most common vices within the family context is domestic violence. Having both psychological and physical consequences, this type of abuse goes unreported in most instances, and hence the victim continues suffering (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000). This comes with the intent of the victim to save the face of the family or because of the fear instilled through the violence. When abuse lasts for a long period, there are disturbing signs from the victim, and this calls for intervention. The following paper examines the role of the government in handling the topic of domestic violence.
Irrespective of class, status, or social standing, anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. For this reason, there should be taken measures to put an end to the practice. While the effects of the same may vary, the victims and those around them suffer from grievous consequences (Kappler, 2011). There are laws in every country created to cater for the problems relating to marital violence. This is done in regard to the communities living within the region and the much possible challenges that are witnessed within this region.
Statement of the Problem
Globally, the cases of domestic violence continue to rise daily. This not only affects the spouses but also other members of the family, especially children. It is for this reason that various governments around the world have created laws to safeguard the interests of both partners in marriage. Women form the largest portion of victims of domestic violence with statistics indicating that at least 69% of women suffer in marriages compared to 10% of men (2010 Human Rights Report, 2011). In some communities, battering of women as well as other abuses are socially accepted since they are considered part of disciplinary measures. This is despite the fact that there are various measures rarely put in place by international organizations to create awareness in such communities. The subsequent discussion seeks to investigate the impact of the government in solving the problem of domestic violence. The two main objectives are:
- To determine the role of the government in the handling matters of domestic violence
- To delineate the degree to which the administration takes part in dealing with domestic violence.
The most important hypothesis states that the government has not sufficiently been involved in solving domestic violence issues. Although it is evident that household issues are a matter of national concern, sufficient resources have not been set aside to tackle the problem. In fact, there are limited personnel who have the mandate on the task. Moreover, many women who face domestic violence encounter stigmatization. Consequently, they shy away from reporting the cases.
There are many cases of domestic violence that include physical violence against one partner. While this type of abuse has been in existence for long, it has been tolerated on the grounds that it is a form of disciplinary function. In some cases, both the victim and the abuser seem to accept it being unaware of the harmful effect it causes to their relationship (Van Wormer & Roberts, 2009). Other forms include marital rape where either of the partners is forced to engage in the act of sex without his or her consent, financial and verbal abuse. In certain instances, both partners may also engage in the abusive behavior, in some cases, the aggrieved party acting in self-defense. The project plans to employ a research methodology of administering questionnaires to a defined group of people. The data will be gathered and a conclusion reached on the role of government in tackling marital issues. Understanding the human behavior and social environment is a core concept of dealing with a home environment (Zastrw & Ashman, 2012). Domestic violence occurs as a result of a gap in the human relations. A man and woman who are in love enter a new social environment. They coexist for the purpose of successful living. Nevertheless, the specificity in personality leads to multiple conflicts. In fact, without patience, there are marriages that cannot last up to 48 hours. The social environment also contributes immensely to the human behavior. Zastrow & Ashaman (2012) emphasize that the social environment encompasses all lifestyles and people that one interacts with. It also defines our actions and reactions.
Diverse forms of domestic violence have been prevalent in the world today. As earlier mentioned, widespread forms of abuse include the use of violence towards the opposite sex in an intimate relationship. Mostly it is women who undergo this type of violence though the current statistics indicates that men are also victims of the same, but their numbers are relatively low.
The work by an IPV researcher Ko Ling Chan indicated that there are different patterns in the manner domestic violence cases are reported. For instance, men have the tendency not to report cases of abuses meted to them by their female counterparts (Van Wormer & Roberts, 2009). Usually, in such cases, there is physical evidences on the victims such as bruises or cuts. This was attributed to a variety of reasons that include the male ego and the fear of being looked down by their peers as weak. Women also failed to report a large number of abusive experiences owing to the fear of being victimized by their families (Siemieniuk, Krent, Gish, Gill, 2010). They were said also to be afraid to undertake a long legal process that might end up in marriage breakages.
Violence against Women
There are various declarations used to define violence against women. These are from different states and hence may vary to some extent. It is the Maputo Protocol that offers the broadest and clear definition of what a case should entail to be considered as violence against women. It states, “All acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological and economic harm, including the threat to undertake such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in times of peace and during situations of armed conflicts or war”. This has been considered to some extent as being not only violence but discrimination of women in some quarters (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000). In this regard, it is conceived that human rights of the victims have been violated.
Violence against Men
Just like women, men also undergo various experiences in relations that could add up to violence. This is considered when it happens within the context of an intimate relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Over the years, men have been reluctant to report cases of violence meted to them. This owes to what may be regarded as the male ego where the man is considered as the head of the family; as such, acknowledging an abuse may seem like a failure in administering their power as the leaders of the family (2010 Human Rights Report,2011). Instances of female partners resisting arrest in cases reported by their male counterparts have been considerably dwindle.
Cycle of Abuse among Intimate Partners
Abuse within couples begins with simple instances of disagreements that eventually lead to building up tension. When this is not addressed adequately, the tension rises resulting in the instances of domestic abuse. When intervention is made at this point, there are high chances of reconciliation where the aggressive partner calms down, and the relationship tends to stabilize. At this point, the aggrieved party is also hopeful of a better outcome and prospects of a normal life. However, the situation changes if the tension returns and the cycle is repeats. It is important to note that this cycle is passed on with generations when children are brought up in family settings where domestic violence is prevalent.
Carter, Weithorn & Behrman (2009) note that there is also a group of people that have been suffering victimization for a long time yet their voice has remained silent. Children, in most families, are the invisible victims of domestic violence. In fact, in the United States, the estimated 3.3 million are exposed to domestic violence every year. Moreover, this has a negative impact on the children. For example, they are affected behaviorally, emotionally, socially, and in terms of their cognitive development. He further suggests the need to implement multiple service system for the victims.
However, Zastro & Ashman (2012) note that one’s life moves through a range of stages. For example, from birth, one moves from infancy to childhood. While one may dismiss a child at this stage to be playful, everybody needs to understand the process growth. The next stages are the adolescence, a young middle adulthood, and the later adulthood. Each stage is unique and poses a mixture of challenges from the environment. While domestic violence entails people who are in the later adulthood stage, the social environment of upbringing greatly influences their behavior. For example, when a lady has been brought up determines how she relates to the companion. A woman who grew during the peak period of feminism will not esteem her husband. Zastrow & Ashman (2009) note that everyone must be careful to the extent they allow the social environment to influence their lives.
The understanding of social theories is fundamental in solving family affairs. Societies are framed according to the foundations of functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interaction among others. Payne & Werling (2009) say that there are reasons why other people choose to stick to their families in spite of the violence they face. They note that at times, police intervention has not brought the expected results thereby causing most women disregard them. Moreover, they indicate that there is a lack of coordinated community response to the matter. The prosecution and victim advocacy take quite a long time hence letting the perpetrators go uncharged. Payne & Wermeling (2009) emphasize that informing the entire public is an imperative method if educating people.
Causes of Domestic Violence
Many factors lead to outburst of violence between partners. This may include instances that may lead to mistrust between the spouses where one partner has been cheating on the other, inability of either of the partners to effectively perform his/her responsibilities, and the lack of adequate and effective communication between partners on issues affecting their relationship. Violence may also result from varying personal traits including biological, social, and psychological features. The biological factors will include prevailing medical conditions that are genetic or a result of brain dysfunction. Social factors include the traits that the abuser acquires from friends, relatives, and close associates either in forms of advice or copied behavior. Children who are brought up in environments where violence is prevalent are also bound to exhibit the same characters in their marriages. This psychological factor has been indentified in most of the marital cases reported.
Effects of Abusive Relationships
The society has witnessed numerous cases of marital abuse. This has been done in total disregard of its impact on the society as well as the country at large. Children, though not a part of the abusive relationship, suffer greatly. They develop psychological complications that lead them to becoming victims. Their overall health, as well as educational progress, are highly affected as such resulting in a poor performance in school. The majority of these children at one point in life may also become perpetrators of violence or condone violence meted upon them.
Partners in the abusive relationship also suffer from a wide range of psychological, emotional, and physical effects. Where violence is prevalent, the aggrieved partner will normally suffer from bruises, injuries, and bone breakages among other physical injuries. These injuries will at times require medical attention where they might also lead to chronic conditions. Instances of emotional and psychological effects are more prevalent though sometimes they might be unnoticeable. The results of these effects may be reduced productivity at work alongside other negative outcomes.
In seeking a solution to the impacts of an abusive marriage, there are many approaches that may be put into practice. The procedures may vary among individuals and communities depending on the level of awareness and the laws in place governing the cases of domestic violence. However, there are main procedures that should be followed in every case. The first step is to ascertain the abuse in the relationship. To take this, it is important to look for the signs showing that the relationship is abusive. In this perspective, it is important to handle each case on its own merit.
To indentify the signs, a simple questionnaire may be appropriate. It will comprise the questions regarding the relationship between the two parties. It includes the feelings of the partners when they are together, when they get to think of the issues relating to each other and their independence. The questions of having any threats sent or passed to the other partner should also be put forward. Instances of physical violence or destruction of property should also be identified and recorded accordingly.
Emotional abuse is the more costly than the physical abuse. While physical injuries like bruises and wounds can be treated, emotional constraints caused by the abusive relationship can weigh heavily on the victim. The scars and wounds of emotional abuse run deep and wide; thus, the victims may suffer for long and in silence. It is at this point that the services of a professional counsellor may be essential. They not only get to the depth of the wounds but also to heal them. Delivering the professional services required at this stage, the counselor will indentify the problem and look for the possible solutions to the conflicts occurring in the relationship. When the conflicts are solved, the chances of recurring abuse are minimized.
Settling the marital abuse problems may require more than the face of the law. While some victims seek out justice from the legal system, others want different models with less publicity that will save their marriage and family. In this regard, the law allows solving disputes within the family setting or through elders in some communities as this not only resolving the issues affecting the couple, but also creates a platform to build a better and stronger marriage.
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The following study will entail 50 people from the immediate local community. Twenty-five of them will be women and the rest – men. The expected age range is from 18 to 49 years. The participants will go through the selection via systematic sampling technique. One of the greatest advantages of systematic sampling is that it helps one avoid bias. However, prior to recruitment, there are ethical considerations that cannot be left out. First and foremost, the participants will be told the details of the study. Moreover, they will be required to consent to take part in the study without cohesion. In other words, a participant will have the freedom to withdraw voluntarily from the study. Secondly, they will be assured of privacy and confidentiality in the course of the study. Information given will be treated with utmost integrity by the concerned parties. Only the investigator will have the access to the analysis of the data. It is important to highlight that domestic issues are very complex, yet delicate. Privacy and confidentiality are, therefore, a core principle of successful projects.
The facts in this project will be collected with the help of the close-ended questionnaire. Rigid questionnaires limit the responses that can be given by the participant. However, it is very necessary due to its precision in the process of data analysis. Moreover, the respondents will not be exhausted explaining many points. Nevertheless, these forms of questionnaires are limited in a way. For example, they do not give the respondent an opportunity to respond and give a personalized view concerning the subject. The questionnaire will contain a minimum of fifteen questions that are divided into three segments. The first part will focus on the ‘bio data’ of the respondents, which entails the age, sex, and details of his or her contacts. The second response will include his or her view on domestic violence in the society today. The third segment will give an outline of the response in relation to government commitment. The respondent will administer the questionnaires at an individual’s place of residence. They will be granted a projected set time of fifteen minutes per person. Moreover, they will be allowed to consult on any question that is not clear.
The data obtained will be analyzed in order to draw a conclusion concerning the subject. Data analysis will be carried in two broad ways. Firstly, descriptive data will be outlined for the purpose of keeping the details. Descriptive statistic measures of such a measure of dispersion will be carried out. Moreover, inferential statistics will emanate from the descriptive statistics. Thus, the results will represent the linear association between domestic violence and impact of the administration. It is significant to bring to light that the data will be presented in the form of graphs and pie charts. Scatter plots will also be handy in illustrating the relationship between the two variables under study.
Domestic violence has been one of the major setbacks for most communities. Its effects continue to be felt by those who are close to the aggrieved parties, their families, and the community in which they live. It is for this reason that there is a need to consider the models that will help both the victims and the aggressor to manage and sail through the effects of their relationship at the same time looking forward to leading better and more efficient lives. The project designed is useful in establishing the government’s role in dealing with the family matters. Moreover, it gives room to discuss the weaknesses of the programs and outlines valuable recommendations for its improvement. Notable comprehending of the human behavior in line with one’s social environment is vital to find a proper solution to the problem of domestic violence. This research has been created to indentify the various courses and effects that come from an abusive marriage.
Johnson, M. P., Ferraro, K. J. (2000). Research on domestic violence in the 1990s: Making distinctions. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(4), 948. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2000.00948.x.
Kappler, Karolin E. (2011). Living with paradoxes: Victims of sexual violence and their conduct of everyday life. New York, NY: Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-3-531-94003-8. pp. 37–38.
Payne, D., & Wermeling, L. (2009). Domestic violence and the female victim: The real reason women stay. Journal of Multicultural, Gender and Minority Studies, 3(1), 1-6.
Siemieniuk, R.A., Krentz, H.B., Gish, J.A., Gill, M.J. (2010). Domestic violence screening: Prevalence and outcomes in a Canadian HIV population. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 24(12), 763–770. doi:10.1089/apc.2010.0235. PMID 21138382.
Van Wormer, Katherine S., Roberts, Albert R. (2009). Death by domestic violence: Preventing the murders and murder-suicides. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35489-2. p. 103–104.
Zastrow, C., & Ashman, K. (2012). Understanding the human behavior and the social environment. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
2010 Human Rights Report: Mauritania. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154358.htm